Waiting For Freedom by #AmiVitale #worldphotopress2018
Environment, first prize singles
September 21, 2017
A young southern white rhinoceros, drugged and blindfolded, is about to be released into the wild in Okavango Delta, Botswana, after its relocation from South Africa for protection from poachers.
Southern white rhinos are classified as ‘near threatened’. Rhinoceros horn is highly prized, especially in Vietnam and China, for its perceived medicinal properties, and in places is used as a recreational drug. Horns can fetch between €20,000 and €50,000 per kilogram. Poaching in South Africa rose from 13 rhinos a year in 2007 to a peak of 1,215 in 2014, and although these figures have declined slightly since then, losses are still unsustainable. Botswana is saving rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa and re-establishing populations in its own wildlife sanctuaries.